I was raised in North Carolina and spent most of my adult life in the midwest. The instinct to be friendly is hard-wired in me. I treat others like I’d want to be treated.
Still, the job is stressful, and I regret the few times when I’ve been inadvertently cranky with people.
Once I was photographing a celebrity guest at a fundraiser. This particular celebrity is known for having a goofy, prankish sense of humor, and he cheerfully makes fun of people he works with on his television show. I think he’s tremendously entertaining on TV, and he’s just as hilarious and charismatic in person.
When I was setting up for our step-and-repeat, I was working to get good lighting in the small space they’d given us. My new celebrity friend was losing patience with the lighting process.
He loudly started joking to one of the event organizers that I couldn’t get the camera in focus. I quipped back in what I thought was a good-natured tone, “It’s the lighting, you turkey.”
That was the end of our friendship.
As far as I know, that’s the only time I’ve ever hurt someone’s feelings while doing a shoot. It won’t happen again.
Always be kind.
Next principle: Adapt.